Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Jackson Pearce
Other Notable Works: Sisters Red, Sweetly
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Realistic Fiction, Ages 14 and up
Features: Family, spirtuality
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher
A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.
A novel about love, loss, and sex. Intriguing, huh? It definitely sounded like a book that I would enjoy. I'd seen rave reviews of Pearce's Sisters Red and Sweetly books, so I just had to check out a book by her. One thing that stood out to me about this book is that it was incredibly short. The whole just flew by in a few hours. I've seen a few reviews lying around that say this book was predictable. I, well, didn't realize what was going on until Shelby herself was given some shocking news. I guess I'm just a little slow. But if it's any comfort, I don't think it's that predictable, although it isn't anything extraordinary or new.
This book is definitely... angsty. And while I understood (or at least tried to) Shelby's feelings, I just felt like she was making everything such a huge deal, and whining about it. A lot. It was a sweet book, and it had a generally good message. (I definitely do not approve of the way Shelby... went around.)
The book has awkward moments, mostly during parts with Shelby and her father. I liked those, because I could really understand and feel the awkwardness in their entire relationship. I really liked Shelby's father. The whole cake thing was pretty epic. And there were some funny quirks throughout the novel. Jackson is funny. I've seen it in person and online, and it shows through her writing.
This book just didn't really sink in with me, which is why I give it an average rating. There wasn't much of an impact on me personally, but it had some good points that could make you think about things or look at things a different way. The writing was good, and the story definitely had potential. It was a quick, enjoyable read, and it doesn't deter me from any of Pearce's other works.
When I said it, I didn't mean it.
...My favorite, the one I'm pointing to, which proclaims, I'm waiting for my prince.
"Oh, my," Ruby says. "I see what you did there, Princess Ball. Clothes for the proudly celibate. Which style?"
"I'm thinking I'll go with the 'fitted baby rib' cutout tee." I snicker.
[...] There's a whole page of silk flowers - I circle the red rose, because there's something wrongly sexy about red roses. If I have my way, these will be the most ironic goodie bags ever created.
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.